Glorious Feast of the Nativity!

Today is the Feast of the Nativity on the Old (Julian) Calendar and even though it doesn’t feel like “Christmas” to many of us (myself included), I am humble enough to realize that it is so for the overwhelming majority of Orthodox Christians worldwide.

As such, I wish them all a very merry Christmas.

Having said that, I’d like to comment a little on the most blessed Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary.  It is because of her that the Second Person of the Trinity chose to become man.  When I think about that statement, certain things become clearer.  That is why (for instance), we have entire hymns entitled Theotokia to her and which are chanted at every Liturgy.

Originally, I was only going to post the following encyclical from His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All-Russia for this feast ( but Gail asked me to write something about the Theotokos as well.

Truth be told, I’ve been ruminating much on her person and humanity in general, specifically the nations of the world. 

So here goes:  it is my own, humble opinion that those nations which have a special devotion to the Holy Virgin are stronger, more vibrant, and cohesive than those nations which have no especial veneration towards her.  This even goes for non-Orthodox (specifically Catholic) nations.  

Think of Mexico (Our Lady of Guadalupe) or Poland (the Black Madonna of Czestochowa).  We Orthodox have innumerable icons of the Virgin and entire services devoted to her.  To say nothing of tremendous cathedrals, churches, and monastic communities.  

Indeed, the veneration of the Virgin has elevated the status of womanhood in Orthodoxy, thus creating the correct balance between the sexes.   Thus, in the family, as well as the nation, the Virgin plays a significant role that stabilizes Orthodox and other traditional nations. 

Protestant nations on the other hand (or more accurately, formerly Protestant nations) do not have this proper understanding and thus, are spinning out of control.  

The preceding words were speculative and I don’t for a minute think that they are authoritative but they have been weighing heavily on my mind this past year.  Any criticisms or observations would be most welcome.

In any event:  Merry Christmas!



  1. Blessed Feast of the Nativity. May Christ and the Theotokos keep us in these crazy times.

    On a more escantalogical note, I was thinking yesterday about what has transpired since election night, this might be a cop out, but, maybe all of this was meant to happen.

    Think of the prophesies of St. Paisios, the recent visions of Elder Ephraim and others concerning civil unrest in the U.S, a Great War involving China, and so on. The likelihood of these things happening under a Biden presidency are much higher IMHO. I do believe that we will be in another major war soon, probably involving Russia (to get back at them after all of that “collusion”).

    That could just be my way of thinking and dealing with all of this, but, it seems to fit the bill. Something sinister is afoot and it’s not just me, or fellow Orthodox for that matter, who have felt it

  2. Congradulations on transitioning to the Orthodox Calendar. If things continue the way they are going I will not be far behind.

    • Gus Langis says

      Same here. As a Greek I have tried to stem the tide that has turned not only secular gregorian style Christmas into just that, but for years I’ve seen the erosion of the cutting of the Vasilopita into a new years good luck cake. Being a member of a large Greek Recipe food group on facebook I was further dismayed this year when for a first time a few began asking for recipes for the “New Years EVE” cake. The Vasilopita has absolutely nothing to do with New Years nor is it meant to be cut after the ball drop in Times Square at midnite and not cut in the morning after D.L. But the biggest shocker was when a popular Greek social media page wrote how many decided for “extra luck” for 2021 they had baked multiple coins into the Vasilopita and also decorated the top of the cake with colored sugar to create the blue eye to ward off evil eye for 2021! They had photos of the “mati” Vasilopita many have baked. The new calendar has transformed one of the most beloved Greek Orthodox traditions to celebrate the life of St. Basil the Great into a good luck charm cake for secular new year!!!

  3. You’re absolutely correct, George.

    Those countries/cultures that refuse to venerate Our Mother are far more misogynistic than those who honor the Theotokos. Muslim and traditional Protestant countries are far more misogynistic than traditional Orthodox and Catholic countries.

    It’s not an accident that significant militant feminist movements simply don’t exist in Poland, Greece, or Russia.

    I don’t know what my life would be without Our Mother and growing close to Her. My own earthly mother couldn’t be loving for a variety of reasons. I am so thankful for our traditions that encourage honoring and venerating the Theotokos. In modern psychological speak, venerating Our Mother certainly does fill my own childhood “mother wound.”

    I love the “Orthodox poetry” that we hear at vespers and which our Protestant friends unfortunately grossly misinterpret: “Most Holy Theotokos, Save us!”

    A Blessed Nativity to all.

  4. I converted about 7 years ago as a very lapsed protestant but I still held misgivings about the esteem that the Theotokos held in Orthodoxy. I was determined to keep seeking answers but I realized that the scholastic approach would get me nowhere. Like most things within the Church it takes TIME to absorb a sometimes very different experience of Christianity and for it to bear fruit spirituality.
    I won’t pretend that I now have a full understanding but I now have no qualms asking for the Theotokos’ intercession on my behalf daily, and I am certainly more aware of my own fallen state when I meditate on Her special sanctity. Our Holy Mother is a part of my life now in a way I never would have thought possible.

  5. Blessed Feast of the Nativity! I agree that the Orthodox Church has no need for feminism. I tried to explain this to an Episcopalian friend of mine. We Orthodox know that, as one of our Holy Fathers said, you cannot have God for your Father if you do not have the Church for your Mother. And the Theotokos, our Champion Leader, is venerated as an example for all due to her humility and holiness in doing the will of God. May she keep our nation under her Protection in these coming months and years!

  6. Protestants do grossly misconstrue the person and image of the Mother of God. An example of this is when we say, “Most Holy Mother of God save us”. What is usually cut off is “through your intersessions”. Of course, this also applies to the saints, who are not recognized by Protestants thus they have no idea about asking for their prayers to intercede with the Trinity on our behalf. Notice they never use the word saint, even when referring to the 4 Evangelists, whom they refer to constantly.

  7. Christine Fevronia says

    Annual March for Life will be virtual this year, so there is no excuse for all of us to not attend! 12 days away! Please sign up to attend, and let’s break attendance records! We will be marching to the Supreme Court live together, virtually. Met. Tikhon will be leading prayers during the March, too.

  8. If BLM can get out on the streets, then why can’t March for Life?

    I’m tired of seeing all the churches, religious movements, etc. simply accepting all this COVID nonsense and cancelling everything, while revolutionaries are gathering in the streets and gym owners are fighting back against the lockdown.

    • Christine Fevronia says

      Agreed, Basil. Of note, the organizers didn’t just cancel just because of the pandemic, but also stated that DC and Capitol Mall are basically closed off from here on out for awhile. I feel the silver lining is that those of us who live on the other coast can “attend”.